Town Sues All Its Citizens

LTB default 777x437

Technically, just all the registered voters, but since 61 of the 65 residents are registered, it's almost the same thing.

The April election in Montezuma, Colorado, was controversial to begin with because it was the first contested election in more than 25 years. (Normally they just draw straws.) In fact, 12 of the 65 residents were running for some sort of office this year. The interest is apparently due to controversy over people from out of town who have second homes in Montezuma, which is about five miles from the Keystone ski resort. This also affected the election itself.

There were irregularities even before election day, including the fact that there were more than 100 signatures on candidate petitions though voters are not supposed to sign more than one. But the election took place as scheduled. (Lesley Davis won the race for mayor by three votes, if you're interested.) The winners have all been sworn in. But an investigation was also launched regarding allegations of perjury and election-law violations. As many as 13 voters and two of the candidates are charged with being out-of-towners, which is not illegal per se but would disqualify them from voting or holding office.

So about a week ago (thanks, Mattie), the town and its clerk sued every registered voter, challenging the results of the election and reportedly asking a judge to compel all the voters to appear in court so this can all be sorted out. Other residents have hired their own attorney to contest the lawsuit—both sides now being represented by out-of-towners, it turns out.

"It's fairly disturbing that the town is using our tax money to sue us," one voter told the Denver Post. Well, if we've learned anything here it's that one person's "fairly disturbing" can be another person's "highly amusing."

I decided to add this to the "Autolitigation" category. The town isn't suing itself as an entity, but it looks to me like it's fair to say that at least the mayor and town clerk are basically suing themselves.